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Formaella Cheese of Arachova, Greece: The formaella cheese of Arachova is a traditional Greek cheese, produced exclusively in the region of Parnassos and it is sold only in Arachova and the surrounding villages. In fact, it has gained a Controlled Denomination of Origin (CDO). Formaella of Parnassos has been producing in that region for over a century and it is popular for its special flavor and high nutritional value.
Formaella of Arachova is a semi-hard cheese, made of sheep milk is used to make formaella is raised free in the area. They live in the special ecological conditions that the Parnassos area provides. Hence the cheese gets a special flavor and taste. The usual composition of formaella cheese is moisture 34.6%, fat 32.9%, protein 27.7%, and salt 2.1%.
Formaella is prepared using traditional methods. At first, the milk is allowed to get coagulated at 32°C for about two hours. Then, the cheese curd is heated to 40°C for about 10 minutes. The resulting solid is cut into pieces and is fitted in special molds made in the shape of wickers. The cheese, along with the mold, is then placed in the whey that was separated from the cheese during the process. The temperature is maintained at 60°C and the process is carried out for an hour.
After one hour, the cheese is taken out and then immersed in warmer whey, which is kept at a temperature of 75-80oC. This process is repeated for an hour. After this, the cheese is taken out and salted. It is also dried. Finally, it is taken out of the molds and is kept in shelves for four days to complete the drying. Formaella Parnassou is consumed as a table cheese. Otherwise, people fry or grill it and make saganaki.